Health Tips for Older Travellers

You know the stereotype – the travel bug is something people should get out of their system early in life, before you reach the ripe old age of 25 and start to take on any real responsibilities.

But for many people, retirement is the perfect time to start exploring the world, or to rekindle a passion for adventure. And why not? Your time is your own, your children have flown the nest, and if you have managed to pay off your mortgage, you probably have cash to spare.

Of course, as we get older our bodies don’t necessarily work quite as well as they once did. So when it comes to travelling, especially for any extended period of time, it pays to take precautions. No one wants illness to get in the way of a dream trip, after all.

Here are some key tips to help keep you fit and well on your travels no matter what your age.

Know where you stand with prescription medications

The first point here is an obvious one – if you are on any prescription medications, make sure you have enough to last your trip. It is also prudent to do some research on permissible medications in your country of destination, as some which can be prescribed in this country may be treated as controlled substances in other places. In some cases, you may need a letter from your GP verifying that you need the medications you take. It always helps to have the generic name of any medications with you, not just the pharmaceutical brand name, so what you are carrying can be identified easily and you can get hold of more in an emergency.

Watch what your eat (and drink)

Some of the most common medical complaints whilst travelling are caused by changes in diet, especially exposure to different microbes in what we eat and drink. A dose of travel belly can have very serious consequences – diarrhoea lasting anything longer than 24 hours can cause serious dehydration, and will reduce the effectiveness of any medications you are taking. The best course of action is to try to avoid problems with an upset stomach in the first place. Stick to bottled water, avoid buffets, market stalls and street vendors where food is likely to have sat out unrefrigerated for any length of time, and cut out dairy if you cannot be sure it has been pasteurised.

Take time to relax

You may want to pack as much into the time you have available, but trying to do too much is only going to put your body under stress, especially if it is hot. Remember, you are on holiday. Give yourself a day or so to recover from your journey, and mix trips and excursions with time by the pool, on the beach, or just sat in a nice cafe with a good book or good company. And on the issue of heat – whatever you are doing, where plenty of high factor sunscreen, stay covered up wherever possible and drink plenty of water.

Make sure you are covered

In the event that you do fall ill abroad, you want the peace of mind to know that you are fully covered for any expenses by your travel insurance. Avanti Travel Insurance specialises in  policies for over-50s travellers and for those travelling with medical conditions. With no upper age limit and all medical conditions considered Avanti offer comprehensive travel insurance with many added benefits. To find out more, please visit our website.